Quality management standards in the automotive sector are extremely exacting. The latest IATF certification (IATF 16949:2016), which defines additional, stricter requirements than the existing EN ISO 9001 standard, sets a new benchmark. thyssenkrupp Materials Processing Europe, the service and processing specialists from thyssenkrupp Materials Services, has successfully certified ten sites in Germany, France, Spain, Hungary and Poland to the new standard.
Marcus Wöhl, Chairman of the Management Board says: "Certification to IATF 16949 is an important step for us toward meeting stricter customer requirements and remaining competitive as an important service partner to automotive OEMs and suppliers."
IATF as the current benchmark for increasing requirements
On the basis of numerous risk analyses in various areas of activity, the assessment of all process opportunities and risks, and supplementary process instructions, the IATF standard sets stricter requirements and defines more systematic processes. Many topics are also subject to greater management responsibility in the event of process deviations, such as customer scorecards or the assessment of potential field failures. The standards were developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) which comprises representatives from leading auto manufacturers and suppliers.
thyssenkrupp Materials Processing Europe meets all the requirements set out in the new IATF standard, as Quality Manager Dr. Gerd Gränzdörffer says: "We are delighted that we were able to complete this project promptly and without any major nonconformities thanks to very good employee preparation and awareness at all levels. We also view compliance with the stricter standards of the auto industry as confirmation of a structured and systematic approach in our processes." The certification is valid for three years and is reviewed in annual internal and external audits at the sites of the Europe-wide network.
A UK subsidiary of a global engineering firm has recently launched an innovative new app that allows people to make complex calculations and gain valuable information about different metals more easily than ever before.
The thyssenkrupp Materials (UK) app, which is available to download for free now via Google Play, has been developed by the leading supplier of stainless steel, aluminium and mild steel products.
The tool can be installed onto Android mobile devices and includes a metal weight calculator, an imperial to metric converter, as well as access to aluminium and stainless steel data sheets.
While the calculator allows thyssenkrupp Materials’ customers to determine the weights of various forms of metals including aluminium grades, stainless and mild steel, copper and titanium, the converter also enables users to transfer imperial measurements into metric quantities, and vice versa.
The Basic Data Sheets function displays information on a range of stainless steel and aluminium grades, such as their chemical compositions, and provides a link to the full material data sheet on the website.
What’s more, the app also features a map showing thyssenkrupp Materials’ key locations and the services on offer, as well as a list of all the useful contact numbers for the division along with a dial option.
Simon Fletcher, Senior eCommerce Manager for thyssenkrupp Materials, worked closely on the development of the app.
“We decided to develop this app to allow people in the industry to access a number of useful materials-based functions remotely,” he explains.
“Put simply, this tool brings together everything that you need to know about the materials we provide and makes determining the costs and quantities when purchasing metal that much easier.”
“We are constantly striving to be innovators within the industry, and tools such as this show that we are leading the way in investing in new technologies for the engineering industry.”
Further details about the app and how to download it are available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=thyssenkrupp.materials.uk.
thyssenkrupp UK Plc recently made headlines in the West Midlands after opening a new national HQ in Solihull and throwing its support behind the Midlands Engine strategy. It employs more than 2000 people across the UK, including over 400 in the West Midlands.
For more information, visit www.thyssenkrupp-materials.co.uk/
A milestone for the digital transformation: thyssenkrupp connects the machinery of the materials division via a new digital platform. Thanks to toii all machines can communicate with each other. Due to predictive maintenance the platform is also supposed to forecast the necessity of machine services in the future. The name chosen by the business area is a double play on words - it spells IIoT backwards, the abbreviation for “Industrial Internet of Things” - and it is pronounced like the word “toy”, an indication of how the new platform makes linking heterogeneous machines to existing IT structures “child’s play”. toii was developed completely in-house by company software engineering experts and tailored to the specific requirements of Materials Services.
One platform for each and everything
The machinery belonging to the business area, which focuses on global materials distribution and processing services, is highly diverse: The machines perform a wide range of tasks, were made by various manufacturers and differ in age. Now toii makes it possible to connect bandsaws and bending machines, mobile objects like cranes and forklifts and even complex production facilities such as slitting and cut to length lines and sophisticated processing solutions through milling machines and laser systems digitally in line with the Industrial Internet of Things. The digital platform allows the machines to share data and communicate with one another and with the IT systems. Processes can be planned and coordinated optimally and flexibly – across locations, worldwide. As a further major benefit, the platform simplifies data analysis. Which product has been produced when and in what quantities? Which machine needs maintenance? What could be developing into a problem? What additional materials need to be delivered? The system answers all of these questions and many more by gathering and analyzing data. The results are just a mouse click away – clearly structured and easy to understand.
- IIoT platform “toii” is an in-house development that connects machines of different makes and generations
- Due to predictive maintenance the platform is also supposed to forecast the necessity of machine services in the future
- Processes can be planned and coordinated optimally and flexibly
“We’ve created an end-to-end solution that is tailored specifically to our needs. It will enable us to accelerate the automation of our production operations and make our processes much more efficient,” says Hans-Josef Hoß from the board of thyssenkrupp Materials Services. “We are now taking the digital transformation to the core areas of our business: our production shops, our machinery and equipment, and our materials. Our customers will feel the benefit – and so will we.”
Close teamwork of man and machine
toii has already successfully proven its worth in several pilot projects. For example, at Materials Processing Europe in Mannheim, a new, highly complex cut to length line that cuts sheet from coil was fully connected with the platform. The result: toii transfers work orders directly and in real time from the SAP system to the machine and controls its settings from sizes and weights to volumes. The platform also automatically retrieves the machine information required by SAP. As a result, the status of production and the finished products can be viewed at any time. Other machines have also already been digitally connected and automated using toii, for example measuring the thickness of metal strips for effective quality control and automatic blanking. In the latter case, the platform even made it possible to fully integrate the blanking operation into a production line. In other areas, from high-bay storage to mobile construction machinery, toii is improving efficiency as well.
The platform is an in-house development, highly scalable, and can integrate up to several hundred machines a year. An international Materials Services team of IT professionals from Germany, India and the USA worked together to develop toii. Alongside various projects in Germany, there are already plans to deploy the system in the UK and the USA. All data are currently hosted on a central server in Germany. But to be able to comply with all data protection law requirements, local servers will also be created in the UK and USA as part of the further roll-out.
thyssenkrupp Materials Services is systematically driving the digital transformation of the business area throughout the entire value chain. In many areas, connected collaboration and interactive processes are already well established – from logistics, warehousing and line utilization to purchasing and administration. The focus is on customers and their individual requirements. The aim: to continuously develop and implement made-to-measure digital solutions that allow for smarter and more effective collaboration and open up completely new possibilities.
About thyssenkrupp Materials Services:
With around 480 locations in over 40 countries, the Materials Services business area specializes in materials distribution, logistics and services, the provision of technical services as well as services for industrial plants and steel mills. In addition to rolled steel, stainless steel, tubes and pipes, nonferrous metals, specialty materials and plastics, Materials Services also offers services from processing and logistics to warehouse and inventory management through to supply chain and project management.
thyssenkrupp is a diversified industrial group with traditional strengths in materials and a growing share of capital goods and service businesses. Over 156,000 employees in nearly 80 countries work with passion and technological know-how to develop high-quality products and intelligent industrial processes and services for sustainable progress. Their skills and commitment are the basis of our success. In fiscal year 2015/2016 thyssenkrupp generated sales of around €39 billion.
Together with our customers we develop competitive solutions for current and future challenges in their respective industries. With our engineering expertise we enable our customers to gain an edge in the global market and manufacture innovative products in a cost- and resource-friendly way. Our technologies and innovations are the key to meeting diverse customer and market requirements around the world, growing on the markets of the future, and generating strong and stable earnings, cash flows and value growth.